October 20, 2021, Montreal – Children 12 years of age and under can now access extended half-life (EHL) factor IX in Quebec for the prophylactic treatment of hemophilia B, the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) has learned. The product selected by Héma-Québec is Alprolix, manufactured by Sanofi.
The half-life* of Alprolix is two to three times longer than standard half-life (SHL) factor IXs. This means that infusions are given once a week instead of two or three times per week and that a FIX trough of 5% or more can be maintained until the next dose. Children will not be switched away from Alprolix on reaching their 13th birthday but will be allowed to continue receiving it.
Parents who feel their child could benefit from this product should contact their bleeding disorder treatment centre.
“This is really good news,” said Canadian Hemophilia Society Quebec Chapter president, Mathieu Jackson. “The CHS and its Quebec Chapter have been advocating with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for wider access to EHL factors for many years.”
EHL FIX has been available in the rest of Canada without conditions since 2016.
People with hemophilia B older than 12 years will continue to be eligible for EHL FIX on an exceptional access basis. They must have:
- a FIX half-life less than 50% of normal; or
- difficult venous access; or
- other medical reasons that justify switching, for example, frequent breakthrough bleeding on standard half-life therapy.
People in any of these situations should speak with their physician.
* Half-life is the time during which half the drug is eliminated from the body.